Grassroots Leadership Blog

Grassroots Leadership Welcomes Laura Price as Women's Campaign Intern

Grassroots Leadership is proud to welcome Laura Price as our Women's Campaign Intern!

Laura Price is currently a junior at Davidson College majoring in Postcolonial Studies through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.  She spent the past four months studying Arabic and Political Science in Rabat, Morocco.  After graduation, Laura hopes to pursue a career in law.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Is Corruption Clouding the Sunshine State?

Welcome to the Humpday Hall of Shame – every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

What does almost $900,000 in political contributions buy in the Florida State legislature?

For private prison companies the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and The GEO Group, it may buy them the conversion of twenty-nine state correctional facilities to private prisons. Nearly 4,000 state employees and 16,000 inmates will be affected if SB7172 is passed.

Governor Scott’s inaugural fund received $25,000 from Florida-based The GEO Group and $5,000 from the Corrections Corporation of America. In 2010, The GEO Group and its staff made more than $700,000 in political contributions in the Sunshine State. CCA contributed $138,994. CCA and GEO are the world’s largest private incarceration corporations.

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Which Republican Candidates Do Private Prison Corporations Support?

Welcome to the Humpday Hall of Shame – every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

With the political world buzzing with Iowa caucus results, we thought we'd explore which Republican presidential candidates had received campaign contributions from private prison corporations.  See what we found after the jump, via data obtained at TransparancyData.com.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Ignoring Evil

Welcome to the Humpday Hall of Shame – every Wednesday we have highlighted the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

“To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

 We are ending the year by asking for your support.

      THE TIME IS NOW!

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Federal Budget Gives Private Prison Corporations a Merry Christmas

Welcome to the Humpday Hall of Shame – every Wednesday we’ll highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week's inductee is the United States Congress.  Even as lawmakers have been unable to extend a payroll tax break for working Americans and unemployment insurance for those out of work, they have been able to provide a benefit for one group this holiday season - private prison corporations that benefit from the detention of immigrants.

Last Saturday, December 17th, Congress agreed on funding for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2012.  While the measure actually reduces overall spending by the department by $111 million, it increases Immigration and Customs Enforcement's by more than $50 million from Fiscal Year 2011.  The increase includes an allocation for 34,000 daily immigration detention beds, up from 33,400 last year.  After the jump, see how the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services puts it in a recent press release.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: High Point, NC Planning & Zoning Commission

Welcome to The Humpday Hall of Shame – every Wednesday we’ll highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week's Hall of Shame inductee is the Planning & Zoning Commission in High Point, NC.  Last night its members had an opportunity to halt The GEO Group from building a for-profit facility for the mentally ill in the criminal justice system.   A rezoning motion (Zoning Case 11-16) would have halted the troubled private prison corporation’s proposed forensic psychiatric hospital at the U.S. 311 and Greensboro Road interchange.

The commission issued a unanimous recommendation opposed to a City Council request to rezone the Evergreens Senior Health Care property, a request by the Council that would have prevented industrial use and block the facility.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Welcome to the Humpday Hall of Shame: every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week we induct Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the powerful Democratic Congresswoman from Florida and chair of the Democratic National Committee for her support of a new Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) immigrant detention center in south Florida.

Corrections Corporation of America has done their part to win Congresswoman Wasserman Shultz's support, donating $1,000 to her campaign in April of this year.  Wasserman Schultz has received at least $7,250 in private prison donations since 1998, according to data accessed at TransparancyData.org and analyzed by Grassroots Leadership.

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Protesting immigration detention for International Human Rights Day

Today, the New York Times called the immigration detention system "dangerously broken." More than 34,000 immigrants awake each day in the immigration detention system.   The system relies heavily on for-profit corporations who own and/or operate prisons and county jails to detain migrants.  According to the Times,"The paradigm is wrong. The system is dangerously broken." [node:read-more:link]

Humpday Hall of Shame: Corporations and Legislators Get Cozy in Arizona

Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

ALEC’s (The American Legislative Exchange Council’s) States & Nation Policy Summit in Phoenix, November 29th – December 3rd, 2011, is packing them in.  Corporations and elected officials are meeting at the posh Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, shown in the picture to the right.

 

What’s the attraction?  ALEC is a powerful group of corporate lobbyists, along with legislators, that draft legislation without oversight.  Learn more about ALEC from an NPR report.

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Humpday Hall of Shame: GEO Group Journeyman Joe Williams

Welcome to the Humpday Hall of Shame: every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week's inductee into the Humpday Hall of Shame is Joe Williams.  Williams' revolving door career demonstrates how the industry profits at taxpayer expense.  Williams is a former GEO Group warden who became the New Mexico Secretary of Corrections under Governor Bill Richardson.  Now, Williams is back at GEO Group as the head of that company's U.S. Corrections arm.

According to a recent article in the Albuquerque Tribune:

Williams came under scrutiny from New Mexico legislators last year for his decision not to fine GEO and another private prison operator for understaffing. A report by the Legislative Finance Committee at the time said there were potentially millions of dollars to be collected. [node:read-more:link]

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